Grade 1 students took an expedition to The Nature of Color Exhibit at the Fernbank Museum last week to deepen their understanding of light, sound, color, and emotions as part of the Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) unit, “Boom Boom Flash.” Students engaged in hands-on experiences exploring how colors make people feel, what colors we associate with different emotions, how colors are perceived across cultures, and how plants and animals use color to help them survive.

The Boom Boom Flash unit asks the driving question:
How can we use light and sound to communicate different kinds of feelings without words?”

To date, students have engaged in various activities on and off campus in Performing Arts, Science, Literacy, and Math.

To kick off the unit, Grade 1 had a dance party, filled with light, music and dancing. It was a fun and engaging way to begin intentional inquiry and set the tone for active learning.

Kimberly Edwards, Grade 1 Head of Grade, shared examples of the various explorations students have been participating in to explore light and sound and the connection with emotions, “Students have used their five senses to write a poem about an assigned emotion (happiness/sadness/anger/fear/love). They have created artwork using mixed mediums while listening to an audio clip (that evoked a certain feeling) and, they created a music clip in Chrome Music Lab with Ms. Jones.”

Additionally in Science, they explored how people use sound to convey a feeling or message across a distance by examining pitch and vibration.

Prior to the Fernback expedition, Lower School counselor, Stephanie Corbett met with Grade 1 to introduce the “Zones of Regulation.” Using an anchor chart they developed a tool to help identify their needs when they feel a certain emotion by assigning each emotion a color.

  • “What color would you use to express anger?” Every student chose red.
  • “What color makes you feel happy?” Most chose yellow.

The experience at The Nature of Color exhibit built on the learning with Mrs. Corbett and other explorations on campus. During the exhibition, students had the opportunity to:

  • Step into a color-changing room featuring a light lab to experiment with combining and separating colors to make white light
  • “Paint” on a floor-to-ceiling interactive by moving their hands, and arranging mirrors and filters to create light art
  • Explore the different feelings colors can evoke by arranging tiles to create combinations and share their personal reactions on a big screen
  • Discover how colors can create a shared identity by examining the many uses of the color red throughout human history
  • Learn about the rich history of the color blue with an interactive demonstration of the process of dying indigo fabric

Grade 1’s Boom Boom Flash IBL will culminate with a showcase where students will share their final performances and/or multimedia art pieces showing how light and sound can evoke specific emotions or communicate across distances. Their experiences in their individual classes and at the Fernbank Nature of Color exhibit will give them the insight to create well informed final products The skills and attributes learned through Boom Boom Flash will help them better identify and manage their own emotions moving forward.